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Marjoe / Thoth
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It makes perfect sense that Marjoe has been paired in this DVD set with Thoth, Sarah Kernochan's Oscar®-winning 2001 documentary short (40 minutes) profile of S.K. Thoth, a street performer whose persona, like Marjoe Gortner's, is entirely fictional yet genuinely compelling. The former Stephen Kaufman (his father was Jewish, his mother African American) struggled with his ethnic and sexual identity, and Thoth shows how he reinvented himself, renamed after an Egyptian high priest, and developed a one-man opera based entirely on "The Festad," a fantasy world, with its own made-up language, that he's created as a youthful refuge from the racism he endured as a biracial youth in the '60s. A self-described "blessed creature" with a unifying message, the androgynous Thoth (whose gold loincloth costume suggests a hybrid of male/female and ancient Egyptian identities) fascinates his audiences of tourists and Central Park regulars, some regarding him as a charlatan while others accept his ruse a celebration of pan-cultural humanity. Thoth may seem like a New Age phony or simply a loser to some viewers (he barely makes a living, and is largely supported by his mother), but his life, like Kernochan's film, is a fascinating quest for multiple layers of truth. --Jeff Shannon
- Excerpts from THOTH's One-Man Opera
- Filmmaker Biographies
Top Customer Reviews
Interestingly, even though the movie depicts the tent revival as being primarily a Southern phenomenon, the revivals shown in the movie took place (if I am recalling correctly) in California & Fort Worth Texas.
Certainly the notion of saving souls for fun & profit is nothing new, but Marjoe Gortner's candor about exactly what he is doing, including the process of exposing himself as a fraud, is a tad unsettling. Both the subject & the filmmaker know that Marjoe's reasons are far from altruistic, and each is using the other for his own purposes. The result is, at times, a rather surreal experience. Marjoe is revealing himself, but in many ways he isn't. We can never really be sure in what he believes, if anything. I suspect it wasn't so much conscience as it was a practical business decision (the tent circuit had been slowly waning since the end of WWII, when the formerly-rural American population once and for all became urbanized)) as he recognized that there were more lucrative media in which he could utilize his talents. Given his upbringing, not as a child but as a gimmick to be exploited, it would be amazing if he has a conscience at all.
Did it make a difference? Apparently not much of one, since Benny Hinn appears to be quite comfortably well-off. People will believe what makes them feel most comfortable. It wouldn't surprise me if some people believed that Marjoe made these outrageous claims of being a fraud only because Beelzebub somehow tricked him into it. For all I know, they may be praying for Marjoe's return to the fold, even today.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great documentary. Growing up in this type of religion and seeing how it somewhat operates behind the scenes was a great movie experience for me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gavin Muniz
Awesome, sad and very interesting to see what can possibly be going on behind the Christian scenePublished 2 months ago by JimD
AWESOME DOC. Fascinating. Hilarious. What a great subject and beautiful film. If the topic looks interesting to you, you should totally watch it.Published 2 months ago by Indica Wilde
INTERESTING VIDEO OF SOME PEOPLE CORRUPTING PEOPLE'S VIEW OF RELIGIION AND FAITH FOR PROFITPublished 5 months ago by Dennis T. Eck
A few minutes in I realized it wasn't a "movie," but a documentary. Marjoe was a great preacher. Who cares if he was a fraud. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Henri Chase